Even though we know there’s a grand jury already impaneled in Manhattan under the direction of the city’s district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., to investigate possible crimes by Donald Trump and the Trump Organization, it remains unclear how far along their deliberations are or whether they’ll be issuing indictments anytime soon.
But based on what attorneys for the president had to say in filings and arguments before a federal appeals court on Monday, it certainly sounds like the Trump team is convinced indictments will be handed down before the election, and that’s why they’re trying so hard to keep Vance’s grand jury from getting eight years of Trump’s tax returns, CNN reports:
In their filing Monday, Trump’s attorneys also warned that the President would suffer “irreparable harm” if the stay isn’t granted, arguing that “while destruction or return of documents can provide a ‘partial remedy’ for the ‘invasion of privacy,’ … the harm the President seeks to prevent is use of these records to engage in a bad-faith fishing expedition. The Court ‘cannot unring that bell’ even if the subpoena is eventually invalidated.”
Be sure and note the use of the words “irreparable harm” and “cannot unring that bell.” What does it matter if the grand jury gets the tax records or they leak after the election and Trump is reelected? At that point, any information the tax data provides would be little more than an embarrassment for him. But he’d still be president for another four years.
However, if the returns or details from them become part of the public record before the election, that could seal Trump’s fate and cause him to lose his dreams of a second term. And if the information is damaging enough and indictments are handed down against the president and/or his company, that could lead to calls within the GOP for him to resign in an last-ditch effort to mitigate Republican losses in November
On Tuesday, the appeals court held off on letting Vance have the tax returns at the moment, but scheduled another hearing on September 25, when they’ll make a final determination on the matter. And if, as expected, they order the returns released (in accord with a July ruling from the Supreme Court), indictments could possibly be issued out of Manhattan before November.
One thing’s for sure: When even your attorneys admit they’re worried, you know things aren’t going well.